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Radicals, Celebs Turn Out for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The professional compassion lobby was out in force in Philadelphia on August 17th. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, actor Ossie Davis, former comedian Dick Gregory, radical poet Sonia Sanchez, and the Lesbian Avengers joined about 1,000 demonstrators at the Criminal Justice Center for a courtroom hearing and daylong rally. They had come in support of convicted cop killer Wesley Cook, better known to the world as Mumia Abu-Jamal.

They had come to Common Pleas Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe's courtroom for a hearing on Abu-Jamal's new state court appeal to reopen his murder case. In 1981, Cook (aka Abu-Jamal) murdered Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in cold blood, shooting him first in the back and then in the face, at point-blank range. In addition to overwhelmingly conclusive forensic evidence, Cook was identified as the killer by multiple eyewitnesses, and he later bragged of perpetrating the infamous deed to additional, multiple witnesses. The former Black Panther was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982. Nevertheless, Abu-Jamal has dragged out the appeals process for two decades and his Communist supporters have made him an international "prisoner of conscience" and a poster boy for the anti-death penalty movement.

The People's Weekly World, newspaper of the Communist Party USA, has served as one of Mumia's chief megaphones. The August 25th issue of the World featured a front-page photo of the Philadelphia "Free Mumia" demonstration under the headline "Let Mumia Live" and an inside story entitled "Free MumiaAbuJamal." Communist Party cadres from New York and Philadelphia played a prominent role in the rally, as did the radical Marx1st/Maoist group Refuse & Resist, which is headquartered in New York City's historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Episcopal church lavishly funded by the Rockefeller family.
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Title Annotation:murderer convicted to die gets help from some of his publicity-seeking friends
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Oct 8, 2001
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